The technical and the communication skills I learnt while at uni helped prepare me for my current ro...
What is your role and what does it involve? I'm a Technical Business Analyst working on MyWealth, which is an all-in-one online investment platform for self-directed investors. My focus is on marketing, acquisitions and mobile, meaning I work with both our technology and our business teams to help better design and build solutions for the platform. This usually involves facilitating workshops, chunking work into user stories and acceptance criteria, and overseeing development of solutions until release day. I also look at analytics data and customer feedback to see which parts of the system they find useful and which parts could use an improved customer service, and then suggest solutions to our Product Owner.
What has been the best experience so far? One standout project for me was implementing a device responsive design to our site. Being new to the team and to the Bank, I had to quickly learn the ins and outs of account origination, and also work closely with our UX, business stakeholders and developers to ensure we delivered the best possible mobile experience to our customers. I then had to commit to chunking up the required work into user stories and writing quality acceptance criteria for our developers and testers. As part of overseeing the overall development of the solution, I smoke tested the developers’ work to ensure that it met the acceptance criteria and was ready to be released to the public. It’s a great feeling seeing the solution you have worked on go live and seeing customers use it and provide feedback on it.
How did your experience at UTS prepare you for the role? As a Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) student, I had the opportunity to take on two industry placements with a sponsor company. For my first industry placement I spent 6 months with IBM in the Office of the CIO division, working with various technology and infrastructure for IBM. I also spent 6 months with CBA as part of my second industry placement, working with collaboration tools and designing technology to improve productivity for the employees within the Bank. With both placements I not only had a up-close look at each company, but also learnt how to communicate professionally with my colleagues and developed my problem solving skills – two key skills which I definitely needed when I transitioned over from university to my current role.
I also had the opportunity to take on a real-world project in software development in my penultimate year. This involved working with my classmates to help build a system for a large department store. Even though the scenario was hypothetical, the contribution made from each member of the group was realistic and simulated a typical corporate environment. We faced a lot of issues typical in the industry such as demanding deadlines, changing scope and technology constraints. We learnt how to quickly overcome those issues and release the product to our customer in the end. The technical and the communication skills I learnt during this project also helped me prepare for my current role.
What was your favourite aspect about studying at UTS? Definitely industry and networking opportunities. I was part of the UTS SWIEIT Speakers Program, and got to travel around Sydney to talk to female students in high schools about the opportunities IT and Engineering could provide to them. I also helped start the NSW chapter of Girl Geek Coffees to support women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with the group’s national director and other university students and early career professionals. The group now boasts over 200 members across universities in NSW. I think having those connections and those skills were quite valuable to my time at university as well as my career.
What advice would you give to those thinking of studying at UTS: Information Technology? Enter your university life like a sponge – keep an open mind to any opportunity, whether it’s academics, work, volunteering, sports, etc. The skills and experience you will gain from your coursework will be valuable when you first enter the industry. If an industry placement at first glance doesn’t look ideal to you, take a second look. Research more about it before making a judgement – who knows, it might actually be the type of work you are looking for. If you have the time to help manage a club, an event or some charity work, take the opportunity, manage your time and contribute as best you can. The skills you will learn from this opportunity will help prepare you for the industry, not to mention you receive appreciation and recognition from the group you are volunteering for. There may not be another opportunity to go to university again so use your time here at UTS to your advantage for yourself and for your career.